Braves OF Melvin Upton expected to miss rest of spring training with injured left foot

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KISSIMMEE, Florida — Atlanta Braves outfielder Melvin Upton is expected to miss the rest of spring training because of inflammation in his left foot.

The team announced Upton's condition Friday after he underwent an X-ray and MRI exam.

Upton's foot will be placed in a short leg cast for two weeks, then in a walking boot from four to six weeks. The team said he will likely be able to resume baseball activities in early April, about the time the Braves are opening the regular season.

Upton was diagnosed with sesamoiditis, which is inflammation in the bone behind the ball of the foot.

The condition is a further setback to Upton, who is coming off two miserable seasons after signing a five-year, $75 million contract with the Braves. He batted .208 with 12 homers, 35 RBIs and 173 strikeouts in 2014, which was actually a slight improvement on his initial season in Atlanta (.184, nine homers, 26 RBIs).

The 30-year-old Upton has gone by his nickname, B.J., throughout his big league career. Perhaps looking to improve his prospects, he announced at the beginning of spring workouts that he would prefer to use his given name, Melvin.

Upton played the last two seasons with his younger brother, Justin, who was among three starters traded by the Braves this past winter as part of a major overhaul. There was no chance of getting another team to take the older Upton given his hefty contract.

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